Target: United States Senator Dianne Feinstein
Goal: Stop the flooding of sacred Native American landmarks via the raising a nearby dam.
Irreparable ecological damage to the natural landscape and sacred native landmarks is inevitable if a new legislative proposal from Senator Dianne Feinstein is passed that would raise the height of California’s Shasta Dam. The raising of the dam would taint the McCloud River and threaten the endangered Chinook Salmon populations that dwell within. In addition, it would lead to the flooding of the local Native American tribe’s last remaining sacred sites and homelands.
Senator Feinstein’s proposal is tucked away in a new bill that is attempting to provide relief from the prolonged drought that has devastated California. While the bill has a noble goal, Congress needs to consider the environmental implications of quick-fix solutions. The Shasta Dam raising would flood miles of shoreline and endanger species such as the Shasta Salamander, which is indigenous to the area and cannot be found elsewhere.
The new bill is also extremely inconsiderate towards the native population. The Shasta region is home to the Winnemem Wintu tribe, and several culturally significant locations are in danger of being wiped out. Places like Puberty Rock and Sucker Pool have long been used by the tribe for various ceremonies. In addition to carelessly ruining these sacred sites, the government has not consulted with the Winnemem Wintu, which is required by law. Not only is the bill insensitive and greedy, it’s illegal.
Senator Feinstein’s decision to raise Shasta Dam ignores the advice of conservationists and scientists. The Bureau of Reclamation conducted a study to predict the environmental impact of the new project and upon review of the study, biologists from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service ruled that the proposal would threaten local salmon populations and declined to endorse it. In light of these revelations concerning the legal and environmental effects of the raising of the Shasta Dam, it is clear that this bill must be struck down. Sign the petition to voice your opposition to the California Emergency Drought Relief Act.
Dear Senator Feinstein,
While the prolonged drought in California has placed enormous strain on the state’s resources, quick-fix solutions such as the California Emergency Drought Relief Act are not the answer. Raising the Shasta Dam would cause irreparable ecological damage to the natural landscape and threaten sacred native landmarks. The raising of the dam would taint the McCloud River and threaten the endangered Chinook Salmon populations that dwell within.
In addition to the environmental impacts, the act also ignores the cultural needs of the local Winnemem Wintu tribe. The flooding that would occur as a result of construction would lead to the flooding of the tribe’s last remaining sacred sites and homelands. A recent study conducted by the Bureau of Reclamation concluded that your proposed bill would have disastrous effects on the local salmon population, and I urge you to redact your proposal and prevent this historic region from being destroyed.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Apaliwal